Ovarian cancer: a hidden killer

Ovarian cancer is a fatal cancer that only affects women. We call it a hidden killer because most of the symptoms of this cancer remain hidden. Doctors have now discovered how to detect this dreaded cancer early. Their findings could save lives. There is no magic test, like a mammogram, to detect ovarian cancer. There are six symptoms that may indicate ovarian cancer.

Hidden killer

Ovarian cancer is the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive tract. This deadly cancer kills several hundred women every year. This is because as many as 80% of cases are discovered too late. The cancer is usually only discovered after the cancer has already spread. This cancer usually remains hidden until it is too late. Women fear this hidden killer.

What is ovarian cancer?

The female internal genitalia are located in the lower part of the abdominal cavity. They include the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes. There is an ovary on each side of the vagina and uterus. They secrete estrogen and progesterone, among other things, which leads to ovulation. Deep in the ovary, the cells that make up you sometimes go through a change. They become cancer cells. These do not correspond to other cells. They invade other tissues. They grow and end up in the fallopian tubes and bladder, which can lead to urinary problems. These cancer cells then spread to the intestine, liver and even the lungs.
Ovarian cancer is very difficult to detect because the ovaries are very deep, between all kinds of other organs. Doctors sometimes do not see that there is a problem. Yet you can detect this cancer if you listen carefully to your body. There is no magic test to quickly detect this deadly cancer. There are six symptoms that can be discovered long before this cancer kills. Yet the signs that may indicate ovarian cancer are often overlooked by doctors. This is because they are very common in women and can also indicate other diseases. Ovarian cancer is very deadly and therefore it is very important to pay close attention to the early signs. You can pay attention to the basic symptoms that can save your life. Ovarian cancer usually occurs between the ages of 50 and 60. With an early diagnosis you have a 90% chance of recovery. If you get there late, the chance drops to 20 to 30%. An early diagnosis is therefore of vital importance.

Symptoms

  • are swollen: there is a strong suspicion that the ovaries will secrete certain substances into the abdomen that slow down intestinal function. If things remain in your intestines, you will swell
  • fatter belly
  • stomach ache
  • pelvic pain
  • eating becomes difficult
  • you quickly feel full

These basic symptoms alone do not make you think of ovarian cancer but of many other conditions. Everyone has these symptoms from time to time. So don’t immediately think that you have ovarian cancer, because you probably don’t have it. But if one symptom persists for at least a few weeks and it is also new, it may indicate ovarian cancer. You don’t have to have all six. But you should definitely get tested for all six symptoms. If the examination is normal, you can wait a few weeks. But if the symptoms persist, other investigations usually follow.

To research

You should definitely talk to your doctor about the symptoms if you think you have them. You should also request an examination, more specifically an ultrasound. Usually the doctor does not initially think of ovarian cancer and an initial diagnosis is usually wrong. After a thorough physical examination, with anamnesis, an ultrasound would be wise for these symptoms. It is very easy to detect growths using an ultrasound. Large growths can be detected quickly, unlike small ones. It’s important because ultrasounds can save lives. You have a much better chance of surviving if you catch it early. If the cyst has grown too large, the doctors can no longer keep up.

Therapy

If you get there early you have several options. The most commonly used treatments are surgery or drug treatment. Sometimes a combination of both is also opted for. If the diagnosis is made early enough, only one of the two fallopian tubes may need to be removed and the other may remain in place. This way there is still a chance that you can still have children.

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